The Summer of 1948

Pepper Grows on Trees!

Image by Randy Son Of Robert via Flickr

The Summer of 1948

I perch in my pepper tree.
Pungent scents, fingered
leaves embrace me.
A lady bug, dressed in red
with black polka dots
climbs my arm, tickles.

Ocean sand, white as the rind
of a watermelon, clings to my
bare toes.
Only hours ago I ran through it,
reaching out, stretching to catch

The smell of hot concrete
dampened by rain showers
lingers along with DDT
sprayed from a can with a
plunger like a bicycle pump.

I slip down the gnarly trunk,
enter the house by the
screen door near the
Bendix with the ringer where
Mama found a black widow

She’s melting a blue cube
of laundry starch
in hot water.

“Did you know I’m four
and a half today?”
I ask. She nods, smiles.
The black fan whirrs
in the background.

“Go on over to Stewie’s,” she says.
“It’s almost time for
Kukla, Fran and Ollie.”

Cross-legged on the floor
I watch the 12” screen,
and understand.

Linked to Gooseberry Garden’s prompt (November 13, 2011) that invites us back into childhood reverie …a poem written many years ago! If you feel like it’s deja-vu all over again, don’t be concerned. This was initially posted last summer. (Guess I’m giving away my age here!)


23 thoughts on “The Summer of 1948

  1. magicalmysticalteacher says:

    Poignant memories!

    Coral Lipstick


  2. ds says:

    Lovely. I remember Kukla, Fran and Ollie, too…


  3. what rich imaginations.

    beautiful entry.


  4. Morning says:

    amazing one, Glad to see you share.



  5. chimnese says:

    the imagery is wonderfully written, you capture the poignant… moments so beautiful.


  6. tigerbrite says:

    This is lovely Victoria.
    I remember the DDT spray and can still smell it.
    Also watching the coronation of Queen Elizabeth on a 12 inch screen in 1953. We were the first on our street to have a TV and all the neighbours crowded in to see it.
    And getting my arm trapped in the wringer on the top of the washing machine !


  7. marousia says:

    Oh, I remember those old insect spray pumps, and blue bags and the dangerous wringers on washing machines. This is so evocative – I see it exactly how you describe – thank you for the memories


  8. zongrik says:

    “stretching to catch sapphires” sounds like a great title for a novel, you know!!


  9. Jamie Dedes says:

    Both memorable and evocation. Certainly written from sacred space. Simply lovely, Victoria.


  10. This is amazing I love your word choice, the imagery, everything! Fabulous


  11. trisha says:

    this is where i fail, i wont even be able to put my feet in the shoes of woman of 1948 and imagine things her ways.


  12. mish says:

    The poem has a poignant multi-sensory appeal !
    It triggered a vague memory of the blue starch cube in a white bath tub … a picture so elusive that it lingers on the edges of my memory … trying to grab a hold of it … it’s just out of reach …


  13. Baishali says:

    a very lively description … and a unique poem … a captivating scope of a full length story… loved it dear friend 🙂


  14. I was born that year. You’ve brought back memories that were buried so deep I couldn’t have unearthed them. I vaguely remember Kukla, Fran and Ollie. Do you remember Howdy Doody Time? Very nice poem, Victoria. It felt like 1948 to read it. Blessings to you…


  15. brian says:

    a fine attention to detail victoria…which really makes this come alive…the stanza on the concrete and DDT…i get that for sure…right there


  16. rmpWritings says:

    taste, smell, touch, sight, sound… you encased every sense beautifully through the mind of a four & a half year old. magical!


  17. Bodhirose says:

    I enjoyed the nostalgia in this–so sweet too. Memories of your 41/2 year old self…


  18. hedgewitch says:

    Excellent use of detail and image to bring the time to life. I too remember Kukla, Fran and Ollie on the huge box with the little screen, though at four and a half I was always upset that I couldn’t read the credits and drove the adults crazy with “What does that say? Well, what does THAT say…” you get the idea. Loved it, Victoria.


  19. Kim Nelson says:

    Brilliance, here! I adore the references to time and place. You took me there, and allowed me to be four and a half again/


  20. jgavinallan says:

    This was incredible. And you can smell the concrete in the summer. Really, I remember that. It seemed so strange. When the rain hit it.
    Victoria, this was such a terrific descriptive poem. It should give birth to a short story…I really think you should try.



  21. b_y says:

    The distance is interesting. It’s not quite a snapshot, a little more than a memory


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